“You know,” Cole said. “My mom once told me a boy would know he’d become a man when he stopped putting himself first. She said a girl would come along and I wouldn’t be able to get her out of my mind. She said this girl would frustrate me, confuse me, and challenge me, but she would also make me do whatever was necessary to be a better man–the man she needed. With you, I want to be better. I want to be what you need. Tell me what you need.”
“Ali Bell doesn't play hide-and-seek," Lucas said. "She plays hide-and-pray-I-don't-find-you."
Mackenzie smiled. "When Ali Bell gives you the finger, she's telling you how many seconds you have to live."
Cole chuckled, saying, "Fear of spiders is arachnophobia, and fear of tight spaces is claustrophobia, but fear of Ali Bell is just called logic."
"Oh, oh." Kat clapped excitedly. "There used to be a street named after Ali Bell, but it was changed because nobody crosses Ali Bell and lives. True story.”
“Cole chuckled, saying, “Fear of spiders is arachnophobia, and fear of tight spaces is claustrophobia, but fear of Ali Bell is just called logic.”
“I felt my hand curl into a fist. Felt my elbow draw back. Felt my arm dart forward, my knuckles crack into Cole's jaw. I couldn't stop myself. His head whipped to the side, and blood leaked from a cut in his lip. Behind me, gasps of shock abounded.
"I'm recovered," I said. "Believe me now?"
Those violet eyes slitted when they found me. "Assault and battery is illegal."
"So have me arrested."
He closed what little distance there was between us. Suddenly I could feel his warmth of his breath caressing my skin. "How about I put you over my lap and spank you instead?"
"How about I knee your balls into your throat?"
"If you're going to play with that particular area, I'd rather you use your hands."
"My hands aren't going near that area ever again."
A pause. Then, "I bet I could change your mind," he whispered huskily.
"I bet I could bash yours." I drew back another fist, but he was ready and caught me midswing. His pupils dilated, a sign of arousal. Another sign: he began to pant. He was acting like I'd tried to unbuckle his jeans rather than smack fire out of him.
"Hit me again," he said, still using the same whispered tone, "and I'll take it as an invitation."
I was just as bad. I trembled with longing I couldn't control and struggled to catch my breath. "An invitation to do what?"
His grip loosened, his fingers rubbing my skin. A caress, not a warning. "I guess we'll find out together.”
“So...have you ever thought about dyeing your hair punk-rocker-chick black? As I'm sure you've heard, I have a thing for brunettes and always avoid blondes."
"I've heard. And no."
"Too bad. Because you're making me rethink my stance about doing my friends' exes." I snorted, not even trying to hide my...incredulity? Surely I wasn't amused.
"Your making me rethink my stance on cold-blooded homicide”
“Kat, who sat beside us, shouted, "Rewind that!" and threw popcorn at the screen. "Mr. Holland's expression was all, like, oh, no, I'm going to need to my balls reattached, and Cole's was all, you're about to lose something else, sucka.”
“Sometimes, the loneliness probably got to be too much and anyone seemed better than no one.”
“Just so you know, you can call me anything you want—just as long as you always call me.”
“The on and off thing is kind of annoying, isn't it? First with Cole, now with Gavin. "Maybe you need a tune up." I rolled my eyes. "I'll just pop into the supernatural ability repair shop sometime tomorrow." He grinned, his fingers tracing the line of my jaw.”
“Do you know the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."
"Wrong. That's the definition of determination.”
“Those we love, we can grow to hate. And life...life can be perfect one minute and in shambles the next.”
“Enjoy him while it lasts," I called. "Apparently he has Girlfriend ADD."
She looked away, but not before I caught the blush staining her cheeks.”
“You're making me rethink my stance on cold-blooded homicide.”
“If you don’t get yourself killed tonight, it’ll be because of a miracle.” he said.
“Good thing my middle name is Miracle.”
“Justin took off in a run.
Frosty and Bronx, too. It wasn’t long before Frosty was carrying Kat, Bronx was carrying Reeve and Justin was carrying Jaclyn. I think every one of them was crying. I forced myself to stand, to inch forward, toward the slayers.”
“When Ali Bell gives you the finger, she’s telling you how many seconds you have to live.”
“Today is cold. Tomorrow, heat will come. Flowers bloom, then wither. Those we love, we can grow to hate. And life...life can be perfect one minute and in shambles the next.”
“Everything changed. The world. The seasons. Time. People. Nothing and no one ever stayed the same.”
“Ali Bell doesn’t play hide-and-seek,” Lucas said. “She plays hide-and-pray-I-don’t-find-you.”
“You're making me rethink my stance against cold-blooded homicide.”
“Put your hope in the right thing, and it would be a lifeline. Put your hope in the wrong thing, and it would be a noose.”
“My reflection stared back at me, the smudges just as dark as before. Disappointment hit a split second before I realized something else was wrong. Something far worse. I wasn't smiling-but my reflection was”
“Stupid. Put your hope in the right thing, and it would be a lifeline. Put your hope in the wrong thing, and it would be a noose.”
“Panting, my body dotted with perspiration, I scanned my surroundings. I saw walls of ivory and gold, painted in swirling patterns. An antique dresser. A furry white rug on the floor. A mahogany nightstand, with a Tiffany lamp perched next to a photo of my boyfriend, Cole.”
“When I thought about it, I understood. Sometimes the loneliness probably got to be too much and anyone seemed better than no one.”
“You resist, and it drives me wild.”
“It wasn't about being happy or unhappy. I just didn't want to be me anymore.”
“Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.”
“Pham Nuwen plunked himself down, stretching indolently.”
“The whole notion of the nursing home was something dreamed up by people like my mother; American women with sunglasses, always searching for their tanning lotion or cigarette lighters.”
“I hope the two of you will descend from your love bubble long enough to learn something today," he sniped cuttingly and the other kids snickered. Embarrassed, I ducked my head to avoid eye contact with them.
"It's all right, sir," Xavier replied. "The bubble's been engineered to allow us to learn from within it.”
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